New York — Former Allstate Corp. CEO Edward Liddy was hired by the U.S. government to run American International Group Inc. (AIG) as part of a plan to avert a collapse of the country's largest insurer.

Liddy helped oversee the spinoffs of Allstate, Discover Financial Services, real estate broker Coldwell Banker Corp. and securities brokerage Dean Witter when he was an executive at Sears Roebuck & Co. He replaces Robert Willumstad, who's leaving after the government took control of New York-based AIG.

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